Task-Oriented Computer Animation of Human Figures [chapter]

Norman I. Badler
1989 Applications of Human Performance Models to System Design  
The effective computer animation of human figures is an endeavor with a relatively short history. The earliest attempts involved simple geometries and simple animation techniques which failed to yield convincing motions. Within the last decade, both modeling and animation tools have evolved more realistic figures and motions. A large software project has been under development in the University of Pennsylvania Computer Graphics Research Facility since 1982 to create an interactive system which
more » ... ctive system which assists an animator or human factors engineer to graphically simulate the task-oriented activities of several human agents. An interactive system called TEMPUS and its high performance successor is outlined which is intended to graphically simulate the task-oriented activities of several: human agents. Besides an anthropometric database, TEMPUS offers multiple constraint-based joint positioning, dynamic simulation, real-time motion playback, a flexible three-dimensional user interface, and hooks for artificial intelligence motion control methods including hierarchical simulation, and natural language specification of movements. The overall organization of this project and some specific components will be discussed. Comments ABSTRACT The effective computer aninlation of human figures is an endeavor with a relatively short history. The earliest attempts involved simple geometries and simple animation techniques which failed Lo yield convincing nl0tions. Within the last decade, both modeling and aninlaLion tools have evolved more realistic figures and motions. A large software project has been under developnlent in the University of Pennsylvania Conlputer Graphics Research Facility since 1982 to create an interactivc'system which assists an animator or human factors engineer to graphically simulate the task-oriented activities of several hunlan agents. An interactive system called TEMPUS and its high pcrfoffilance successor is outlined which is intended to graphically simulate the task-oriented activities of several: hunlan agents. Besides an anthropometric database, TEMPUS offers multiple constraint-based joint positioning, dynamic simulation, real-tinle lllotion playback, a flexible three-dimensional user interface, and hooks for artificial intelligence motion control methods including hierarchical simulation, and natural language specification of nl0velllcnts. The overall organization of this project and some specific con1ponents will be discussed. HUMAN TASK ANIMATION With the widespread acceptance of three-dimensional modeling techniques, high-speed hard\\'are, and relatively low-cost cOlnputation,· modeling and animating one or nlore human figures for tile purposes of design assessment, human factors, task simulation, and human nlovement understanding has become quite feasible. Though not recent, the demand for creating, modeling, and controlling one or more hunlan figures in a 3-D world is expandi.ng and the application base is growing. Human figure models have long been used in cockpit and autolnobile occupant studies (Dooley, 1982) ; now tlley are finding applicalion in vehicle and space station design, maintaincncc assessnlent, product safety studies, and computcr animation for its own sake (Badler, 1987) . When nlotion illformation is nleasured directly off human subjects the result is natural motion but little 1l1eory of 110W such motion can be synUlesized. The scope of tlle task animation process is much broader than usually realized: to produce convincing animation \vithout an expert animator requires a conlputational understanding of motion and its -~senlanticslt; in other words, a syntlletic "expert:-Our intention is to extend the
doi:10.1007/978-1-4757-9244-7_27 fatcat:wt7pfb6t7vaktdsvvxb4wnav5u